“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit”

31 Aug

In conversation, I’m often quick witted, but I’m not very original. So it’s rather expected that I quote someone else about quotes. I use quotes all the time, and some are so good, they stick with me. These are the maxims I live by.

Anyway, it’s time you knew what the heck I meant when I keep repeating them. A maxim (not the magazine) is a short statement conveying a simple truth. I’ve got about 5 to 8 I use on a regular basis. Now if you’re wondering if they can truly be that profound if you can’t remember how many you have, I’ll just say that life changes, and some are more important than others.

Obscure movies are a great source of quotes… well, obscure to most people. It’s always fun to throw out “I’m a reasonable guy, but I’ve just seen some pretty unreasonable things.” (Big Trouble in Little China) Of course, sometimes it’s things that don’t really count as quotes. I personally like “Okay, I get that. What’s this?” That’s actually from the Blues Brothers and is part of a longer conversation introducing what we think of as the Bluesmobile.

Jake: What’s this?

Elwood: What?

Jake: This car. This stupid car! Where’s the Cadillac? (beat) The Caddy! Where’s the Caddy?

Elwood: The what?

Jake: The Cadillac we used to have. The Bluesmobile!

Elwood: I traded it.

Jake (with disbelief): You traded the Bluesmobile for this?

Elwood: No, for a microphone.

Jake: A microphone? (beat) Okay I can see that. What’s this?

I still wish I could pick up the phone like the villain does in The Long Kiss Goodnight and say, “Who the f@#* is this?!” In fact, the entire film is hard to quote because of the profanity… well, in most company, anyway. I do get away with “Son of a bitch’s got to pay,” also from Big Trouble in Little China, but more often spout out “Six-demon bag, sensational!”

So what are your favorite movie quotes? Let me know in the comments below!

3 Responses to ““Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit””

  1. Jo September 14, 2020 at 6:10 am #

    You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!


  1. Churchill and Twain Said It All | Albigensia Press - April 10, 2021

    […] If there’s a quote somewhere, it’s often attributed to Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, or Lincoln, even if it’s not… because it’s easier to remember than “Edna St. Vincent Millay.” As much as it’s important to be accurate… does it matter? […]

  2. Moments of Transition and Moments of Revelation | Albigensia Press - April 19, 2021

    […] a fan of quotations. Not being very quick-witted myself, I rely on other people’s quotes to fake it, and… they’ve helped me form my life. So when I think about my current life change, […]

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